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Starsky snuggled up to the blonde beside him and, nuzzling her earlobe, she gave a soft moan. Encouraged, he let his hand
roam along her slender body discovering the tender flesh until he felt her excitement grow.

"Joyce, you're incredible," he said in a husky voice and lay atop her. He let his kisses trail along her jaw and ended
on her breast caressing the sensitive spots. She moved against him digging her fingertips in his back and when he was about
to give them the pleasure they were longing for, the phone started ringing.

"Damn!" Starsky hissed and slowed down his movements.

"Don't stop," Joyce begged and he tried to concentrate on their lovemaking.

A short glance at the alarm clock increased his discomfort. Half past midnight. Was it Hutch on the phone? He had intended
to play some more billards at Huggy's when Starsky had left with Joyce. Was it Huggy to tell him that Hutch had one over the

"Darlin', you are getting distracted, aren't you?" Joyce noticed not hiding her disappointment.

Rolling off her, Starsky grabbed for the telephone receiver and gave a not too friendly "'lo".

"David Starsky? I've got your partner, this piece of crap -- you remember me, don't you? He doesn't look too good now,
a little deranged. Honey, tell your partner that we're leaving..."

"Starsk?" Hutch slurred voice was heard.

Starsky asked frantically: "Buddy, what's wrong, who's there with you?"

"Diana..." Hutch voice trailed off and the line went dead.

"Shit!" Starsky cursed, fending off Joyce's attempts to draw him back to the bed. "Hutch is in danger. My God! It's Diana!
She hurt him once because he didn't want to date her any more."

"Understandable," Joyce tried to joke, but when she received a deadly glare from Starsky she shut up.

Hastily Starsky got dressed. "See ya!" he said leaving the apartment.

Breaking more than one traffic rule, Starsky rushed along the streets as memories of the unfortunate incident came back
when Hutch had met Diana at the hospital. She had been the nurse at the hospital who had given him the shot of tetanus for
a cut to his hand. Later Hutch saw her again at the bar where he was meeting Starsky, not knowing that she had followed him
to meet Hutch again. Her possessive way to commit him to her had caused some trouble. At the end she had tried to stab him
in the shower and Starsky had arrived just in time to keep Hutch from serious harm.

Starsky arrived at Hutch's home and hurried up the stairs. Entering the apartment with his spare key, he saw that Hutch
hadn't been there. It must have happened at Huggy's, Starsky thought and was already on his way.

"Amigo, are ya looking for your second half? Then you're too late. He left with a redhaired beauty shortly ago. What about
a beer?" Huggy asked good humoured. Then he saw Starsky's serious face and his smile faded. "Anything wrong?"

"You can say that again." Starsky gave a sigh and informed Huggy about the disturbing call.

"Diana? -- Wait! Do you think the lady he was with was that creep? I only saw them leave. She had her arm around him. I
was wondering why he didn't say goodbye," Huggy said pensively.

"Maybe she gave him something so he wasn't able to think straight," Starsky guessed and headed into the bathroom. Huggy
shook his head trying to remember what could have happened to Hutch in his bar.

Starsky entered the bathroom and started looking for anything suspicious. Finally he found what he was afraid of finding:
A syringe lying in the garbage can. Somehow Diana had been able to drug Hutch, Starsky was sure about it. One hour ago she
had called him to tell him they were leaving. He had to check on Hutch's car. Carefully he took the syringe and hurried out
to deposit it in his car. He looked around and saw Hutch's old LTD parked. Nothing out of the ordinary was to be seen.

At a loss, Starsky returned to the bar. Diana had left the bar with Hutch who wasn't up to long walks. If she had a car
it would be difficult to track them.

"Hug, any idea where Diana could have gone without a car? I have to start looking in the neighbourhood. If she escaped
from Cabrillo State, she wouldn't have a driver license with her. Hopefully she didn't get far with Hutch doped up." Starsky
sounded desperate and Huggy nodded thoughtfully.

"There's a little hotel, not the best one, I must admit. I know the owner, maybe he can help us. Don't worry, my friend,"
Huggy tried to soothe his old friend and went over to the phone.

He came back with a little smile on his face. "Got news for you, Starsky. A man and a woman asked for a room but Lop Sinh,
that's the owner, refused to give them one. He's on probation and was afraid to get into trouble with the police. He didn't
want to be connected to junkies."

"Junkies?" Starsky jumped up and was already halfway out the door. "Hug, be prepared, I may need your room upstairs again."

"Hey, he said they left in direction to the Eastside Park!" Huggy called after Starsky but he wasn't sure if Starsky had
heard him.

Starsky rushed past the shabby hotel Huggy had mentioned. Had Huggy said anything about a park? To the left Starsky could
see the entrance of a park. It was very dark and Starsky felt a little uncomfortable. A superstitious man, he believed in
ghosts and other supernatural things and now he was about to enter this dark place at night without back up. The concern for
his partner, however, gave him courage and he forget all his childish fears as he moved forward, adjusting his eyes to the
darkness. The small path led him further into the park. There were no streetlights but strange noises, probably nocturnal
animals, Starsky thought to himself to ease his anxiety.

Suddenly there was a moan to his left and Starsky drew backwards, gripping his weapon.

"Whaazza matter?" An old man sat up on a bench and looked with sleepy eyes at Starsky.

"Are ya having a party? Can't sleep with all the people passing by," the man mumbled.

Starsky asked, "Sorry, but have you seen a couple coming your way?"

"Sure, they seemed to have an argument, were too loud and the chick was almost screaming. Can't an old man have a little
privacy?" the man muttered.

Starsky reassured him, "Yeah, go to sleep." He helped the man to lie down again.

He had to find Hutch at once. No one knew what Diana had in mind. He followed the path and stopped when he saw a clearing
with an arbor in the middle. Was there movement? Starsky's heartbeat quickened. Hiding behind the trees he stealthily moved
nearer until he had to leave the shelter of the trees.

Running across the clearing, he was aware of somebody in the arbor. He dropped to the ground and didn't move. Now he could
hear someone moaning and a female voice was scolding loudly.

"Hey, I told you not to fall asleep. Love me! Do it now!" Starsky could see that the man was lying on the bench. The blond
hair shining like a beacon in the moonlight made Starsky's heart skip. Hutch! He was about to launch into the arbor but held
back. He had to be careful. Then he saw Diana, who was kneeling in front of the bench, using a long knife to cut Hutch's shirt

"Wonderful, just wonderful... Be mine tonight. I loved you at first sight -- and now you're sleeping." Diana's voice changed
from soothing to angry again. She unbuckled Hutch's belt and tried to unzip his jeans still holding the knife in her hand.
Starsky cringed. When she scratched with the knife along his bare chest murmuring silly words Starsky couldn't stand it any

"Stop it!" he screamed lunging at her. Taken by surprise she fell sideways, trying to defend herself with the knife. Starsky
hardly felt the pain when the knife cut through his jacket while he overpowered her.

"He's mine, you'll never get him back, you'll see..." Her insane laughter filled the air.

Beside himself with rage Starsky handcuffed her, secured the knife and was sorry that he hadn't anything to gag her. He
shoved her aside where she stayed whimpering.

"Hutch! Talk to me. How are you doing?" Starsky bent over his partner and caught his flailing arms. "Sshh, I'm here, it's
Starsky, don't worry any more." Hutch's eyes stayed closed; he was too pale and his fine blond hair lay damp against his forehead.

"C'mon, let me help you to sit up," Starsky said. Hutch answered with a moan. With Starsky's help he straightened up.

"Ssarsk," he mumbled opening his eyes.

"I'm here," Starsky said trying to hide the lump in his throat. He cupped Hutch's cheek with his hand and felt the coldness.

"Let's get you out of here. Can you stand up?" Hutch nodded, then he started wildly mumbling, "Diana?" Starsky put his
arm around Hutch's waist. With the other hand he pointed to the woman crouched at the corner of the arbour.

"There she is. She'll accompany us straight to the police. Hurry up, lady, it's time for you to go back where you belong,"
Starsk told her in an authoritative tone.

Hutch leaned into Starsky, their heads touching. Slowly, they walked through the park with Diana in front of them.

Hutch stumbled and Starsky supported him by holding him close to his side. Diana kept walking on obliviously -- straight
into the arms of two uniformed officers.

"Good ol' Huggy," Starsky mumbled, happy that Huggy had sent a black and white to the park.

"Take her to the police station and book her for kidnapping an officer of the law," Starsky instructed the officers and
when they looked suspiciously at the swaying man at Starsky's side, Starsky added, "I take care of him. He's the victim, Detective
Hutchinson. I'll be in tomorrow to write up my report. Thanks for taking her off my hands."

Walking with Hutch out of the park, Starsky took a deep breath. The worst was behind them; he had Hutch by his side --
alive, though much worse for wear. He looked at Hutch's pale face and noticed the unsteady steps and was worried again. What
if Diana had given him something addictive, like heroin? Enduring withdrawal again was unthinkable.

Starsky sighed running his arm along Hutch's back. "Hutch, we're back at Huggy's now, you're safe."

The door opened and Huggy rushed out to meet them. "Good to have you back, my man," Huggy's relief was palpable. He took
Hutch's arm and together they hauled their weak friend up the stairs to the room Starsky knew too well.

"Thanks, Hug. Could you bring coffee with lots of sugar... just in case?" Starsky asked in a low voice.

Huggy disappeared and Starsky peered at Hutch. Misty eyes were looking back at him; Starsky saw the fear and, at the same
time, the trust Hutch had in him.

"Starsk, thank you," Hutch said before his wobbly legs gave in and he began to wilt toward the floor.

"No!" Desperately Starsky tried to break the fall. He crouched next to his friend patting his cheek lightly. "C'mon, wake
up for me. You have to tell me about Diana..." Hearing the name Hutch stirred and opened his eyes again. "That's my Hutch,"
Starsky beamed at his friend tracing a thumb along Hutch's jaw. "How're you doing, huh? Feeling better already? I'll help
you to stand up. Then you can lie down on the bed. It's a lot more comfortable there than on the cold floor, isn't it?" Starsky
tried to cheer his friend up.

Hutch smiled wearily. Putting his arms around his friend's chest, Starsky helped Hutch up from the floor and over to the

When Huggy entered with the coffee, Hutch lay curled up on his side, shivering slightly.

Starsky and Huggy locked eyes, thinking the same: Not again!

"Buddy, want to drink some coffee?" Starsky asked hovering over Hutch. He got no answer but the trembling increased. Starsky
shrugged his shoulders. "Same procedure as last time, Hug," Starsky said, taking off his Adidas, then moved over to Hutch's
side to remove his shoes too. "Can you bring a comforter, please?" Huggy nodded and went to fetch it. When he returned he
smiled affectionately at the two men on the bed. Hutch was lying in Starsky's arms soaking up the warmth of Starsky's body.

"I'll stay here a while with him, maybe I can get him to drink some coffee," Starsky said suppressing a yawn.

"Okay, try to get some rest before the night is over," Huggy said looking at the watch.

"Half past three?" Starsky couldn't believe it. At the next moment he was asleep.

Smiling softly Huggy switched off the light and went downstairs to close the bar.

Starsky awoke with a major headache. His lovemaking with Joyce must have been extremely exhausting, then he opened his
eyes, saw the unfamiliar room and all memories from the last night were back with an aching intensity.

Hutch had been drugged, he had tried to warm him... Starsky looked around. There was no Hutch. Damn! Fearful that Hutch
had left to find more of the drug he'd been given, Starsky jumped out of the bed and hurried to the door. He was about to
leave when he heard a noise from the bathroom. Starsky rushed over to rip the door open. "Hutch?"

"Whoa, buddy, hold your horses," Hutch smiled just taking care of business.

"Sorry," Starsky mumbled and was about to retreat. "Was worrying that you needed..."

"...A fix?" Hutch said looking at Starsky. He went over to the sink and washed his hands.

"I'm feeling much better this morning. Still a little shaky but nothing to compare with last time. Thanks for finding me
and taking care of me." Hutch stepped toward Starsky, put his arms around his best friend and held on tight.

"Don't want to interrupt anything, but I thought a breakfast a la Huggy's would cheer you up," they heard Huggy at the
door. Smiling at each other they broke contact and joined Huggy to dig into the breakfast.

"You really look better, my friend," Huggy said to Hutch and went on, "but we surely should let them analyze the contents
of the syringe, just to be sure that you won't have aftereffects."

"You're right, Dr Bear," Starsky laughed. Hutch nodded and bit into his toast. "Now let's head home. Huggy, thanks for
being such a good friend!" Starsky forgot about 'soapy scenes and gave Huggy a one-sided hug. All three went downstairs, said
their goodbyes and when Starsky and Hutch sat in the Torino, Hutch remembered that his own car was still parked in front of
The Pits.

"We can get your heap later. Right now we're going to my place. You have to protect me in case Joyce plans on shooting
me," Starsky joked. "Besides I can't leave you alone now; you always mess up with the ladies, pal." Starsky said affectionately
caressing Hutch's neck in a brief gesture.

They arrived at Starsky's apartment just in time to see a furious woman racing down the stairs, shouting at Starsky, "Do
you know what time it is, David Michael Starsky? Half past twelve! I'm going home for lunch!"

Pensively Starsky mumbled: "Half past twelve? That means twelve hours ago this nightmare started. Hutch you have to be
grateful, referring to Diana."

"Why?" Hutch said in confusion.

"Well, if Diana hadn't called me to tell me that she got you, I never..." Starsky shuddered imagining that Hutch could
have been dead by now.

"It's gonna be all right," Hutch said. "The ladies are gone, what remains is always..."

"...Me and thee," Starsky smiled, and supporting each other they climbed the stairs to Starsky's apartment.

The end

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